Saturday, 20 September 2008

More memories of Garn

I keep on thinking of more things about Garn.
Garn liked it when we called her the Rose Kennedy of our family, though our family is not quite so dysfunctional and definitely not cursed. She was our matriarch. So when Craig was serious, really serious about someone he'd met, she was duly taken to Forster to meet Garn and was approved of (as was her daughter Chelsea who Garn thought was wonderful).
Garn approved of Simon, before he'd uttered a word or done a thing, she noted his well polished shoes and decided he was okay. Things like shoes and gloves were important to Garn and she gave me some beautiful leather gloves that I still wear in winter.
I liked the way she picked up crumbs with her forefinger after eating a particularly good scone or piece of cake.
She called Craig 'Greased Lightning' and I was "Kookie" and she always said, "Wash your hand Jeffrey!" before every meal.
Before she got sick she was always crocheting or knitting something. Her crocheted rugs were always made from oddments of yarn, resulting in some crazy colour combinations. She crocheted around he edges of about a million facewashers and gave them to family and friends. Lou got Garn to teach her how to crochet and I wish I'd done that too.
She was so generous. I remember her cooking Gramma pie for her friend Les in the Blue mountains and going to visit him.
She loved living in the country and reading Country Style.Whenever the country style would arrive she'd put it somewhere where she could see it. Never opening it straight away so she could relish the anticipation of a new magazine. Every Sunday she'd watch Landline and then on the phone she'd ask me if I'd been watching too. And she'd laugh when I used a farm expression and say "you're in the country now, kookie!"
She was a demon with the ironing board. Could go through a minimum of two cans of fabulon in one session. We knew to avoid her ironing spot because it was always as slippery as a patch of black ice. Nothing was safe from her iron. Sheets (Garn thought there was nothing more luxurious than sleeping on ironed sheets), pillowcases, hankies and even underpants all felt the heat of her steaming iron.
Such was her love for a good fish meal that she'd make us queue outside the Snapper K Inn at Manly at 5 so we'd be first through the doors at 6pm. She didn't want to miss out and we didn't.
She told me only a few months ago that she thought my father was a marvellous man and thought Mum was so good to her. And in spite of everything she still thought highly of those people over the ditch that in the end did so little for her.
Her funeral was sad, but we also laughed too as we talked about her and ate cake and looked at her photos. It was so nice to see people that had come from Canberra and the Blue Mountains, from lots of places because they had such fond memories of Garn. Just like us.

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